For a free evaluation of your case please contact Attorney Ian Caldwell

Driver’s License Restoration

Has your Michigan Driver’s License been revoked or suspended? Do you need a Michigan Driver’s License Clearance so you can get a license in another state?

Dealing with the Secretary of State and Driver’s License problems can be very difficult and confusing. Most people don’t know where to start when trying to get their Driver’s License back after a suspension or revocation. We understand how important the privilege of driving is and how important it is to get your license back. We are dedicated to serving our clients and our goal is to put the client at ease throughout this confusing process. Our Office has helped hundreds of people with their Driver’s License problems and can help you too. Contact us today for an evaluation by a Michigan Drivers License Restoration Lawyer.

Do I need a lawyer for my hearing with the Secretary of State?

It is always in your best interest to be represented by a good attorney in any legal proceeding. Your Driver’s License Restoration process with the Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearings Section is no different. Although it is not mandatory to have a lawyer for your Michigan License Restoration hearings, you are in a much better position to have your license reinstated when you are working with an experienced attorney. Many times people do not hire a lawyer because they feel that they will automatically be denied because it is his or her first hearing. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Many people share those same thoughts, but in reality, it is very common for the applicant to get his or her license back on the first try when working with the right Michigan DUI Lawyer for a Drivers License Restoration.

Satisfied Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Clients

“My license was suspended/revoked 13 years ago. I’m very pleased that Mr. Ian Caldwell was recommended to me to work with. After his hard efforts and knowledge in the law of driver’s license restoration I now have my license back. Since the first day I talked to Mr. Caldwell he has been nothing but prompt and professional. After working with different lawyers over the years that is something that I’m not use to. He is always consistent in returning calls promptly and staying in touch to ensure that everything is getting done the correct way. I appreciate Mr. Caldwell’s heart and determination in the restoration of my driver’s license and would recommend him to anyone in a similar unfortunate situation.”



“I hired Ian to represent me in an attempt to get my drivers license reinstated after a third dui. Ian provided me with excellent counsel as we went through the process. I am certainly happy with the outcome of my reinstatement process as I have been given my license back. However just as important and perhaps a better testament to Ian is the fact that he spent time with me on the phone a year before I was eligible for a hearing, and every time I reached out to him before, during, and after the process he responded promptly in a caring and attentive manner. While I hope to never need an attorney again in the event that I do Ian will be my first call. I highly recommend him!”



“I retained Mr. Caldwell after speaking with him on the phone, and then in person. I had spoken and met with other lawyers regarding my license restoration case and Mr. Caldwell was the best fit for me. He was very informative and courteous throughout the whole process. And he also demonstrated a great deal of working knowledge about the whole process in dealing with the DAAD board. This was my second offense within 4 years and I wanted to be very careful in choosing the right lawyer. After my positive outcome I have only great things to say about my whole experience.”



“Ian Caldwell was upfront, knowledgeable & honest with me in handling my case. I wouldn’t hesitate to call on Ian again and I would highly recommend him to anyone needing his services. I felt the outcome of my case would be successful based on Ian’s guidance & knowledge. Ian was very personable and professional to work with”.



“I retained Mr. Caldwell for a driver’s license restoration hearing after it had been revoked for DUI 2nd offense. Ian’s knowledge and preparation in this subject matter are greatly appreciated. He puts the client at ease because he is very down to earth and honest when communicating with him about these sensitive subjects. He always makes sure to put you the client first and goes to great lengths to make sure you are comfortable and prepared. I’m personally very grateful and appreciative for Ian’s counsel and guidance during this troubling time in my life. I wholeheartedly recommend Ian A. Caldwell and his counseling services to anyone who is seeking DUI representation!”



Michigan Secretary of State Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight OHAO

Under Michigan law, the Secretary of State has the authority to revoke driving privileges under certain situations. One of the most common situations which results in a driver’s license revocation is when a person obtains multiple DUI / OWI convictions within a certain period of time.

If a driver’s license has been revoked and/or denied as a result of multiple DUI / OWI convictions, then the person must go through the Administrative Hearings Section with the Michigan Secretary of State in order to restore the driving privileges. The old name for this Department is the DLAD (Driver’s License Appeal Division).

When applying for driving privileges after a revocation, it is important to consult with a skilled Michigan DUI License Restoration Attorney in order to increase your chances of success. The hearing officer with the DAAD will only restore or re-instate driving privileges if certain conditions are met or “proved” by the petitioner.

The Petitioner must have at least a period of 1 year of sobriety before the Secretary of will grant driving privileges. The petitioner also must gather and provide several documents for the case. Some of these documents include a Substance Use Evaluation conducted by a qualified individual, Community Proofs or Letters written on Petitioner’s behalf, a drug test, as well as several other important documents which can support in proving the case. These materials and documents are required in order for the Petitioner to meet the criteria set forth by the Secretary of State.

That specific detailed criteria used by the Secretary of State Administrative Hearings Section is laid out in what is referred to as “Rule 13.”

Rule 13 provides:

  • (a) The hearing officer shall not order that a license be issued to the petitioner unless the petitioner proves, by clear and convincing evidence, all of the following:
  • (i) That the petitioner’s alcohol or substance abuse problems, if any, are under control and likely to remain under control.
  • (ii) That the risk of the petitioner repeating his or her past abusive behavior is a low or minimal risk.
  • (iii) That the risk of the petitioner repeating the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by, or under the influence of, alcohol or controlled substances, or a combination of alcohol and a controlled substance or repeating any of the offenses listed in section 303(1)(d), (e), or (f) or (2)(c), (d), (e), or (f) of the act is a low or minimal risk.
  • (iv) That the petitioner has the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.
  • (v.) Other showings that are relevant to the issues identified in paragraphs (i) to (iv) of this subdivision.
  • (b) Before ordering that a license be issued to the petitioner, the hearing officer shall require that the petitioner prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that he or she has completely abstained from the use of alcohol and controlled substances, except for controlled substances prescribed by a licensed health care professional, for a period of not less than 6 consecutive months, or has abstained for a period of not less than 12 consecutive months if the evidence considered at the hearing establishes that a longer period of abstinence is necessary. The evidence may include the following:
  • (i) That the petitioner has ever submitted to a chemical test which revealed a bodily alcohol content that is not less than 2 times the level indicated in section 625a(9)(c) of the act.
  • (ii) That the petitioner has 3 or more convictions for alcohol or controlled substance related offenses.
  • (iii) That the petitioner has attempted to bring his or her alcohol or controlled substance abuse problems, if any, under control, but suffered a relapse by using, on at least 1 occasion, alcohol or controlled substance, or both, except for a controlled substance prescribed for the petitioner by a licensed health professional.
  • (iv) That a substance abuse evaluation of the petitioner reveals a diagnosis of past or present alcohol or controlled substance dependency.
  • (v) That the petitioner’s license was previously revoked or denied under section 303 of the act because of alcohol or controlled substance convictions.
  • (vi) Other showings that are relevant to the issues identified in paragraphs (i) through (v) of this subdivision.

What kind of License can I get if granted driving privileges?

When a Michigan resident with a revoked license is applying for a driver’s license, if he or she proves his or her case successfully to the Secretary of State, then a Restricted License is usually granted. This means that a person may drive during specified times for specified purposes. As part of the restriction, a person is almost always required to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device installed in the vehicle that he or she is driving. If the person is caught driving a vehicle without the Interlock Device, then the Secretary of State will re-instate the original revocation. More importantly, if a person consumes any alcohol or relapses during the restricted license period, then the Secretary of State will re-instate the revocation as well. In fact, if there are any violations of the conditions under the restricted privileges, then the Secretary of State has the authority to re-instate the original revocation.

After the person has had the Interlock Device for a period of 1 year, then he or she may apply for a full license with the Secretary of State and have the Interlock Device removed. If the Secretary of State is satisfied that the driver has complied with everything after the 1 year restricted period, then the Interlock Device may be removed and full driving privileges are granted.

An out-of-state resident seeking a Michigan Clearance will not be issued a Michigan Driver’s License. In this situation, the applicant is requesting that Michigan grant the Clearance so that he or she may obtain a Driver License in the new home state. If the person proves his or her case and is successful in having a Clearance granted, then Michigan will lift the “Hold” in the system and he or she can get a license in the new state.

What if there is a violation or problem with my Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device?

If there is any violation of the Restricted License or Interlock Device, then the Secretary of State has the authority to revoke the restricted driving privileges. If the privileges are revoked, then the person usually has to wait another year to reapply for the restricted privileges again.

If a person is accused of a violation, then he or she does have a right to a hearing with the Secretary of State to appeal the new revocation. It is the driver’s burden to prove his or her case to show good cause why the license should not be taken away.

There can be many reasons for a potential violation. For instance, sometimes there are false positives read by the device. Or, if a person’s battery on the vehicle dies, this could trigger a violation. Another situation is if a person misses a “rolling re-test” for some reason. A person could possibly miss a re-test if the radio is on too loud or he or she does not hear the signal for a re-test for some reason. That is why it is of paramount importance to be attentive to device while driving at all times.

Of course, if a person has been consuming alcohol, there will be positive readings and if the person has relapsed, the license will be revoked again.

There are many situations where the person has not been drinking and still may be violated. The Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device is a sensitive machine. If a person who has not been drinking blows into the device and for some reason it registers the presence of alcohol, it is important to rinse your mouth out with water and try again. It would also be a good idea to go to a local police station immediately to have a PBT alcohol test done or to have an ETG test done to show that you have not been drinking.

Regardless of the violation, the burden is on the person to show good cause as to why the revocation should not be re-instated. Any potential violation for any reason is not something to ever take lightly.

Let us help you with your Driver’s License Case!

With all of these complex burdens and standards in mind, anyone who is thinking of applying for the Restoration or Clearance of his or her driving privileges should obtain the assistance of a Michigan DUI Lawyer who focuses on DUI, OWI, and Drivers License Restoration Cases. If you are seeking the Restoration or Clearance of your Michigan driving privileges, please do not hesitate to contact the office. Mr. Caldwell has appeared in front of numerous Secretary of State AHS hearings across the State and obtained positive results for many people.


“Ian Caldwell was extremely knowledgeable about the process of getting my license reinstated. I highly recommend him for representation. I live out of state and he was very informative about the process. Always answered my call and was very polite and honest with it all. I’m glad that I chose him and am very thankful for his services I hope I don’t need legal services again in the future but if I did I would choose Ian again!”



“Where do I begin? From the first time that I contacted Ian’s Office, I knew that he would help me with everything that I needed. I contacted him regarding a matter that was, in my opinion, a no win situation. He was very informative, walked me through the process, and answered all of my questions. He was very organized and prepared throughout the whole process. Needless to say, I won my appeal and I know that without the help of Mr. Caldwell, that would not have happened. Truly, I cannot thank him enough. It was an easy choice for me to select Ian Caldwell and it would be an easier choice if I ever need his services again.”



“I was referred to Mr. Caldwell by another lawyer in the community and I would highly recommend his services. He is knowledgeable, communicates very well, and provides the best of service. I was very satisfied with his results.”




We represent clients throughout the entire State of Michigan as well as all out-of-state residents in need of a Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Clearance.